Sunday, February 11 / 7pm doors / $10
Come join us for another unforgettable Funky D Records party, celebrating the life of the great Robert Bradley! 🎂Robert will be performing with his all-star band, emcee Linda Lexy & a special opening act the Allen Dennard Quintet, which Linda calls, “Great young jazz players bringing that sweet Detroit flavor will make this party extra special!”
Robert Bradley was born in Alabama, gaining most of his musical experience by singing at The Alabama School for the Blind, playing acoustic guitar at coffeehouses, and piano in Baptist churches. Robert’smusic is always uplifting, transcending the borders of rock, blues, soul, and gospel. Later in life, street performing at Detroit’s Eastern Market, Robert honed his unique personal style. Incredibly, in 1995, through word of mouth and hard work, Robert acquired a record contract with RCA.
With the release of the his first major label album of blues-tinged rock, 1996’s ‘Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise’, compared favorably to the music of Otis Redding, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Marvin Gaye. Robert built a loyal following with a seriesof dates with Brian Setzer , Dave Matthews Band, and Sonic Youth. Driven by the video for “Once Upon a Time,” the group expanded its audience and released a second original album, Time to Discover, in 2000.
Robert Bradley did well on alternative radio and VH1, releasing a couple albums for RCA.His eccentric background and energetic live shows — almost gospel-like — gained him a sweet following leading to arena shows with Dave Matthews Band, Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Widespread Panic, and Maceo Parker.
The next year Bradley starred as fictional bluesman Otis McClanahan in the HBO film Lackawanna Blues, also contributing to the soundtrack, and in 2006 the live two-disc set, ‘What About That: New Year’s Eve in Bloomington’ was released.
By 2005, the ride was over, and after a few Indie releases to critical acclaim, Robert seemed to be right back where he had started.
In 2006 Robert returned to Alabama, married a singer named Avyline, and spent the next 12 years playing piano in different Baptist churches, and working at a vending machine company for the State of Alabama, lifting and loading heavy cases of soda pop. Robert returned to Detroit in late 2016 to visit his family, and looking to see if there was still any interest in his music. Several people advised him to call Detroit producer Tino Gross.
‘My phone rang one evening and it was Robert Bradley’ said Tino. ‘He said he was interested in maybe getting together and doin’ some writing and possibly recording.’ I went and picked him up that night, and we wrote 5 songs, it was really clicking, like destiny.’
‘Down In The Bend’ (Funky D Records) produced and co-written by Tino Gross, is the result of this collaboration. Playing on the record is a ‘who’s WHO’ of Detroit’s finest musicians, including Don Was, Dave McMurray, Johnny ‘Bee’ Badanjek, Jeff Fowlkes, Jimmie Bones, Erik Gustafson, Avyline Bradley, Kymberli Wright, Bobby East, and more. The record reflects many sides of Robert Bradley’s artistry… we are very excited for you to take a listen.